Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mary Lincoln

No one ever gave up so much for this country. No one was ever so unappreciated for it.

Mary Todd was born this day in 1818 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Todds were well-to-do, well-connected, everything Mary's future husband was not. Without her, he could not have been president. He needed someone with her skills to take the rough edges off of him. To her everlasting credit, she did see potential in this man. Others did as well, but it is one thing to recognize promising qualities; it is quite another to hitch your wagon to that promise.

I have been researching the lives of Mary Lincoln, and her Confederate counter part, Varina Davis, for more than ten years. I am writng a one-woman play based on Mary's life, and a dual biography of the two women. They are endlessly fascinating.

Take a moment today to reflect on Mary Todd Lincoln's gift to the United States -- the life of her husband. She gave up her privacy, her peace of mind, and her family, for this great nation. She did not always give freely, but she sacrificed much. (Above, Sally Field as Mary Lincoln)

Gen. Maxcy Gregg

On this day in 1862, Confederate Gen. Maxcy Gregg of South Carolina died as a result of wounds suffered at Fredericksburg. I have always found him a compelling figure, very bright, outspoken, a man of action. He was portrayed by our friend, Buck Taylor, in the movie, Gods and Generals. Buck will be coming back to Kansas to narrate the film by Ken Spurgeon and Lone Chimney, Road to Valhalla.

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